As my wife and I were flying down Interstate 275 South, I kept thinking to myself, was I having a Heart Attack. I was sweating profusely and it felt like my Heart was racing. Once we arrived at the Emergency Room, I was met immediately by nurses whom rushed me into an examination room. They began to give me Oxygen, which I desperately needed. I could tell by the look on everyone’s face it was not good. They began by taking my pulse and pressure. Both were off the charts. I know I worked myself up on the way to the hospital ER. I was scared and didn’t know what was wrong with me. The ER Doctor wasted no time. He immediately had them run an EKG and began listening to my heart. As I can recall to the best of my ability, my pressure was 175/110 and my pulse was racing at over 200 beats per minute. The doctor looked at me and asked of I had ever been diagnosed with AFIB. I knew of others that had AFIB, but I had not even been told that before in any of my past Cardiology visits with my Heart Doctor. My wife had this look of fear in her eyes. We both didn’t know what to expect. They immediately put me on a Lasix drip. The doctor noticed that I was having swelling in my right foot. My heart was not in sync. I was out of rhythm. The EKG also confirmed I was in AFIB. My dad lived with this for the last several years of his life. The only good news I received in the ER was I did not have a Heart Attack. It was all electrical issues. They immediately contacted my Cardiologist. He concurred with what they were doing and told them I needed to come to the office as soon as Monday, no appointment needed. After spending 8 hours in the ER that evening, they pulled over 2 gallons of fluid from my body. I was able to breath normally again without sweats. After lying quietly for over 8 hours and having all this fluid removed off my body. my heart went back into a proper rhythm. The ER Doctor explained to us this was common and the heart could go in and out of AFIB without any notice. It was mainly due to extreme exercise or excursion that would make the heart go back into AFIB again. I was relieved to say the least, but both my wife and I were scared. After being released from the hospital, we went home and celebrated the New Year from our apartment. My big dinner and casino plans had been ruined for New Year’s Eve, but not totally. I stilled wanted to Celebrate with her. The very next day, I woke up feeling wonderful. I told my wife I wanted to start the year off with a bang and I changed the reservations to go to the Council Oak Steakhouse for New Year’s Day. I wanted to make sure we began the 2015 New Year in style. We had just gotten married 6 days ago and I didn’t want to remember my trip to the ER for New Year’s Eve. So the next afternoon, we got all dressed up again and headed out for fun at the Casino and Dinner. My wife decided to play some slots while I sat at a 4 Card Poker Table, which was my favorite table game. I gave my wife $500 dollars that night to spend and I sat at the table with $1,000. Immediately, the cards started falling my way. Within the first 90 minutes of playing, I was up over $3,000. I always had a habit of pressing my bet when the cards were for me and tried betting less when I was not winning. Today was my day. It was close to dinner time, so I called in the Chips and my wife and I headed to the Council Oak for dinner. I wanted to celebrate bigtime. I had just gotten married to the prettiest girl in the Casino, I was not in AFIB, and I just won $3,000 in 90 minutes playing 4 Card Poker. To celebrate, I decided I was going to treat myself to a Lobster this night. My wife asked me if I thought that was a good idea. In typical fashion, I replied, it’s Seafood. Well, the waitress came over and took our drink orders and I wanted a big lobster. She came back to take our dinner orders and I proceeded to tell her I was going to eat Lobster for dinner. She said we have 2 lb., 3 lb., 4 lb., and 5 lb. Lobsters in our holding tank. It was the New Year, I was up big time, so I ordered the 5 lb. Lobster and my wife order the Salmon. OMG, the dinner that night was fabulous. I don’t even think I shared one bite with my wife. I ate the entire 5 lb. Lobster and all the fixings that went along with dinner. I believe I also had some small torts for dessert. After dinner that evening, we decided to go back into the Casino for a little while longer. I made a promise to my wife that I wanted to go home a winner, so I put $2,000 of my winnings back in my wallet and I was only going to play for a few hours. After somewhat breaking even for 2 hours play time, I decided to locate my wife at the slots and we headed back home to Saint Petersburg, FL, which was only about a 35 minute drive from the Casino. Once we arrived home that night, I parked the car and proceeded to walk up the flight of stairs. OMG, once I got to the top of the steps, I was out of breath again. I was back in this AFIB. My heart was racing and I was struggling to breath just like the night before. My wife and I immediately went back to the car and I was on my way back to the hospital again. This time, I was really struggling to breath. Once we got to the hospital, it was the same routine. I had another EKG, which confirmed I was back in AFIB, but again, no Heart attack. This time I was admitted to the hospital. All I could think was Happy New Year. I was scared again. I know my wife didn’t sign up for this once she married me. My weight was somewhat in control. I had lost a significant amount of weight. I was still a big guy at about 320 lbs., but I was not Morbidly Obese as in my past life. After being admitted to the hospital once again, I realized my biggest mistake. Eating a 5 lb., Lobster and having a few drinks is what basically put me back into the hospital for a second time within a 24 hour period. This time, I wasn’t being sent home. I could see the look on my wife’s face. She was visibly upset. She went home for the night and met me back at the hospital the next morning. My Cardiologist came in and immediately started talking to us about the possibility of me needing a Pacemaker and Defibrillator placed in the left side of my chest. I looked at him and said is this really necessary. Without blinking an eye, he said my Heart was Extremely Enlarged and I was in CHF, Congestive Heart Failure. If I didn’t proceed with this implant, I could possibly have a Massive Heart Attack and not survive. After several more tests were run, the doctor told me he wanted to do a procedure known as a Cardioversion. Basically, he wanted to try and restore my Heart to a normal heart rhythm again. He told me the procedure would not take long, but I was going to have to be put to sleep. I was scared to death. What the heck did I get myself in to this time??
Will to Live – Fear, Love, & Hope continued – Part 82